UKIP’s new leader added a repulsive contribution to the debate on antisemitism in the Labour Party. Speaking in an interview on Peston on Sunday, Gerard Batten claimed the row on antisemitism in Labour is happening because it relies on the votes of Muslims.
On his show, Robert Peston asked Batton whether the language he has used about Muslim people is comparable to that which the Nazis used about Jews. He responded by criticising the “ideology” of Islam. And he picked up an earlier point from Peston on antisemitism, stating:
The reason you’ve got this degree of anti-semitism in the Labour Party, in my view, is because it very much depends upon Muslim voters in inner cities. And the Islamic religion is inherently anti-semitic.
The claim faced extensive criticism on Twitter. One user branded UKIP and its leader “disgusting”:
"Islam is an inherently anti-Semitic religion" and Labour is being anti-semitic in order to appeal to Muslim voters. Wow. Batten and UKIP are disgusting. #peston
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
— Kate Little (@katelittle) April 29, 2018
Others argued the programme failed to challenge Batten on his views:
If you must have racists on your programme, @Peston then it's your duty to ensure there is sufficient time to robustly challenge their hateful rhetoric. You've just allowed the last word to be that Islam, as a religion, is antisemitic! shameful and harmful! #Peston
— Holly (@holski_beat) April 29, 2018
Not the first time
This isn’t the first time Batten has made questionable statements on Islam. He previously referred to the religion as a “death cult”.
The more Muslims you have in a population, the more Islam you will get. And the more Islam you have, the more terrorism you will get.
A spokesperson for the anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate told The Guardian Batten is “an Islamophobe and conspiracy theorist”. They stated:
His extreme comments, while shocking, are not surprising. His obsessions with Islam go way beyond the pale and are both hugely offensive as well as potentially dangerous.
The strategy isn’t working
Since the EU referendum in 2016, UKIP has been in crisis. Gerard Batten is the party’s fourth leader in less than two years. The last leader, Henry Bolton was sacked by members over racist texts sent by his girlfriend.
But with the latest UKIP leader holding controversial and ludicrous view like this, no wonder his party is falling into complete irrelevance.
– Support the work of Hope Not Hate.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Featured image via screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?